What is an Autism Spectrum Condition?
Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) are a range of related developmental disorders that begin in childhood and persist throughout adulthood. ASC is the new umbrella term used to describe conditions including Asperger’s Syndrome, Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder.
ASCs can cause a wide range of symptoms, which are grouped into three broad categories:
- Problems and difficulties with social interaction, such as a lack of understanding and awareness of other people’s emotions and feelings.
- Impaired language and communication skills, such as delayed language development and an inability to start conversations or take part in them properly.
- Unusual patterns of thought and physical behaviour. This includes making repetitive physical movements, such as hand tapping or twisting. The child develops set routines of behaviour, which can upset the child if the routines are broken.
The “gold standard” approach to the assessment of ASCs places an emphasis on multi-professional input, but in practice this is often difficult to arrange even within established NHS services. As a consequence, diagnoses are often made by professionals in isolation, or are not made at all.
Simon offers a comprehensive assessment service for young people and adults where there are queries around Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) and, where required, brings other highly qualified professionals alongside to contribute to the assessment. This broad range of experience means that we are able to provide a combination of clinical and educational assessments that highlight a person’s strengths as well as difficulties.
Therapy and consultation
Simon provides support to families, schools and professionals where an Autism Spectrum Condition requires further understanding or exploration.
Our Lead Professionals for ASC
Dr Jonathan Jones is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist working with adults with an ASC. He has formal training in the DISCO assessment interview and has been involved in the diagnosis and treatment of people with ASCs for over 10 years.
National Autistic Society (NAS) – general site http://www.autism.org.uk/ – the UK’s main ASC-specific support organisation. A great starting point for families or individuals with questions about Autism Spectrum Conditions
NAS services directory http://www.autism.org.uk/directory.aspx – a comprehensive list of resources for people with an ASC and their families, searchable by area and type of input required
Wrong Planet.net http://www.wrongplanet.net/ – a web community designed for individuals (and parents / professionals of those) with Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD, PDDs, and other neurological differences